Courage looks up to challenge

One of the best competitions of the entire year here at Curraheen Park – the Macroom Motor Services Stake – gets underway tonight and Jacobs Courage can get punters off to a great start in the opening heat.

Graham Holland's dog went to the semi-finals of the Produce Stakes, showing exceptional early pace along the way. He'll have to be on his toes early to get the better of North Bound and Kudos Supersprint finalist Cashen Malouda but even matching them to the turn should allow him use his draw to forge ahead and onto victory.

Holland also holds strong claims in the other heats and his unbeaten youngster Riverside Turbo can maintain his unbeaten record in the second.

A September 2010 whelp with just two races under his belt, he beat the subsequently sold Forest Apollo in an Unraced Stake final in Shelbourne on his most recent start and that reads as very strong form.

He should have the legs of kennel companion Muralli Junior in the early stages but Fast Fit Dan might prove a tougher nut to crack. However, he has the advantage of the inside and should lead all the way.

Aghaburren River has been dropped in grade for race two and he rates nap material to stamp his class on proceedings. He has a tendency to miss the kick at times but he has two modest starters on his outer and with the 550 yards trip playing to his strengths, he should be prominent early before stretching clear.

Starcash Barney could be the value bet of the night in race five. Timothy Field's dog was entitled to need his most recent outing ad down in grade now, he should make the rails pitch count.


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